MARTINEZ -- The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, over the objections of a group of environmentalists, appointed a career pesticide salesman Tuesday to the Integrated Pest Management Advisory Committee.

Members of Parents for a Better Environment said Terry Davis, whose application cited more than 20 years selling rodenticides and other pesticides, was a bad choice to serve on a committee with a mission to promote environmentally sensitive pest control solutions. The group also objected, albeit less fervently, to the appointment of Doug Freier, an East Bay Municipal Utility District assistant superintendent whose responsibilities over the years have included right-of-way maintenance, a task the group said involves the use of weed-killing chemicals.

Along with Davis and Freier, the board appointed Patti TenBrook, a life scientist with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, and Cheng-Liang Liao, a retired toxicologist with the state Department of Toxic Substances Control. The latter two appointees generated no controversy at Tuesday's meeting.

Supervisors Candace Andersen and Karen Mitchoff, two members of the board's Internal Operations Committee, said Davis' expertise with pesticides and Freier's hands-on experience with EBMUD will bring balance to the advisory committee. The two supervisors said that during interviews, Davis and Freier had made clear they are on board with using the least amount of pesticides as practical.

The vote Tuesday was 4-0 with Supervisor John Gioia abstaining as a matter of "perception" over Davis' job selling pesticides.

Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760 or Follow him at